"Beautiful Fruit of the Vine "
February 19, 2017
Isaiah 5:1-2 - Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our international ministry centers to write our Sunday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Readers of Scripture know there are many passages and parables which center on vineyards, farmers and fruits. One such familiar passage is the one above, the one taken from Isaiah.
I say it is familiar because our Lord Jesus Christ knew this passage from Isaiah and made reference to it in His teaching. Because of that, the passage from Isaiah 5:1-7 -- short, simple and easy to remember -- undoubtedly can hold deep meaning for our present and future life in the Savior.
When you read the verses, you can sense the frustration of the man who has done everything necessary. By any standard, everything necessary should have been enough to get the job done. In this case, the job would be a vineyard producing a bumper crop of sweet grapes.
How sad he must have been, in spite of all he had done, to receive a harvest of tart, wild fruit.
Beloved, if we can feel sadness for the poor results we see in our jobs, families and lives, how much more intense must be our Father's disappointment when He sees people refusing to produce fruits of thanksgiving to His Son and service to their fellow brothers and sisters.
In contrast, remember how much happiness and joy there ought to be when we see the results of the work of the Lord in the lives of those who had not known Him. Indeed, our attitude on earth ought to join with the joy in heaven. Remember what the Gospel of Luke says: (Jesus said) "Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10).
Brethren, the Lord has done everything we could ever have hoped for, and even more. He gave us a fertile hillside, fenced it, protected us, removed the stones, built, and He hopes that you and I will produce delicious grapes without any sour fruit. Truly, we are designed to be the Lord's plants, vines and delicious fruits.
We produce good fruit when, as people of faith, we do the Father's will. That's what Peter learned in John 21:15-19 when Jesus said, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?"
To the Savior's question, Peter replied, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love You."
Having heard Peter's confession, the Lord directed, "Feed My lambs."
My friend, in that passage we can easily substitute our names for those of Peter. If we do, we will hear how the Lord speaks directly to us and asks us to do the same. This is why I encourage you to do it now.
THE PRAYER: May our Father God, His beloved Son, and His Holy Spirit continue to encourage us in the daily work of His mission of reaching out to the lost. In Jesus' blessed Name we all say Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written Edilberto Méndez Mora. Beginning in 1992, he came to us as a contributor and volunteer at LHM's Christ for all Nations office. He became a member of our staff in 1997 and has served as director since 2004. Lutheran Hour Ministries has been working in Panama since 1985. In 1996 it was recognized by the Panamanian State as a religious entity, a nonprofit, as serving society, and as an organization whose primary purpose is the proclamation of the Word of God to unbelievers.
With its ministry center in Panama City, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Panama is known locally as Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones ("Christ for All Nations," CPTLN). It makes Gospel connections through printed materials, "live" events, mass media and the Internet, holistic outreach, and other means. Using Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), individuals are instructed in the basic tenets of the Christian faith and how to put them into operation in their lives. Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops train laypeople to share their faith with others in order to build bridges via the Gospel. Helping young people make healthy lifestyle choices is the role of Project JOEL, a program teaching faith-based values that has been successfully integrated into the curricula of public schools, giving teachers a valuable resource to help them foster and promote constructive values.
Loneliness is a problem many people face. Lutheran Hour Ministries-Panama is addressing this issue by making the Spanish booklet Facing Loneliness available for FREE. You can read about this helpful offer by clicking here and visiting its blog.
To learn more about our International Ministries, visit www.lhm.org/international
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries